(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Acting High Commissioner of India, Shri Vinod K. Jacob, together with the Chief Priest of Ramakrishna Mission in Colombo, Swami Aksharatmananda and other officials of the High Commission of India, paid floral tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his 159th Birth Anniversary, in a special event organized at the High Commission of India today (January 12, 2022). Earlier in the day, a special prayer ceremony was held at the Ramakrishna Mission which was attended by Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh, Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission of India. SVCC has also organized online film and documentary screenings to commemorate the Swami Vivekananda Jayanti.
Swamiji’s teachings and philosophy have inspired people, particularly the youth, to contribute towards nation building and his birthday is, therefore, also celebrated as the ‘National Youth Day’ in India. To commemorate this day, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports of India has organized the 25th National Youth Festival in a virtual mode from 12th-13th January 2022, which has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India.
Swami Vivekananda was greatly influenced by the teachings of Lord Buddha. Soon after being initiated into Sannyas, Swami Vivekananda visited the holy city of Bodh Gaya to offer his prayers to the Bodhi tree, under which Lord Buddha had attained Enlightenment. Swami Vivekananda, along with Shrimad Anagarika Dharmapala, attended the World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893, where both of them gave historic speeches.
Sri Lanka had a special place in Swami Vivekananda’s heart. Swami Vivekananda visited Sri Lanka in January, 1897 and during his 11-day stay travelled to different parts of the country including Colombo, Kandy, Matale, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Chavakachcheri, Jaffna, and gave multiple spiritual discourses. This year, commemorating the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s arrival in Sri Lanka, a number of events are being organized by the High Commission of India in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission and other spiritual organizations and leaders.